The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has been recognised for its innovative work in helping deliver public sector infrastructure, at the annual Partnerships Awards, held on 31 May 2012.
SFT scooped top honours for, ‘Best Alternative Deal Structure’ for its National Housing Trust (NHT) affordable housing for rent initiative; ‘Best Central Regional Government PPP Promoter’ for creating and developing a raft of innovative PPP models which have been warmly welcomed by industry, and ‘Best Individual Contribution’ awarded to SFT’s chief executive Barry White, for growing SFT’s remit across 10 diverse work streams and delivering over £¼bn of cost savings and benefits to the people of Scotland.
The awards, which are well established within the UK’s construction and infrastructure financing industry, were for the first time open to international applications which saw submissions come in from as far afield as Australia, USA, India, Mexico, Canada, Finland and Spain.
In the ‘Best Alternative Deal Structure’ award category, the 27 internationally acclaimed judges were particularly impressed by SFT’s work on the NHT initiative. Just over a year since the NHT initiative was launched, 613 homes are being built; the first tenants have moved into top quality accommodation; 700 construction jobs have been protected; house builders have opened mothballed sites; investment into the housing sector has reached £100m, and due to its popularity a new phase of NHT has been launched – all this, without any Scottish Government subsidy.
In relation to ‘Best Central Regional Government PPP Promoter’ the panel of judges were impressed by the progress SFT had made in developing a robust stream of financed deals to Scotland, such as the £2.5bn NPD programme, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe, which is allowing projects to happen now rather than later. SFT’s other far-reaching funding programmes such as the Tax Incremental Financing programme, hub, and the National Housing Trust initiative have been welcomed by industry and impressed the judging panel.
And the successful development of the SFT team along with the progress the company has made was recognised by the award of ‘Best Individual Contribution’ to Barry White, SFT’s chief executive.
Barry White, explained: “Winning three awards is truly a phenomenal achievement, made even more spectacular as we were up against top-class international competition.
“Scotland is leading the way and punching well above its weight in terms of developing and implementing innovative funding solutions to bring ‘additionality of investment’. This is in turn allows projects to be built now thereby contributing to the long-term economic growth of the country and in the shorter term, supports jobs in the construction industry.
“However, more than anything, I am so very proud of the strong, hard working team at SFT. Without them, we would be nothing and they must all take the credit for our achievements. Each and every one of them has made a real contribution to our success for which I am truly grateful and this reflects so well on us, as now we are recognised by our peers as delivering world-class solutions and support.”